In a 2018 report following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire, Dame Judith Hackitt recommended the introduction of the Golden Thread of Information to allow information to be used in order to safely and effectively design, construct and operate buildings.

The Golden Thread (a series of principles that influenced the creation of the Building Safety Act) should be curated so that information regarding the design, construction, maintenance and decommissioning of a building is traceable and accessible. It also sets out the steps needed to keep a building and the people inside safe, now and in the future.

The Golden Thread information should be stored as a structured digital information. In line with recommendations, it will need to be accessed by many people throughout a building’s lifecycle – including but not limited to building managers, architects, contractors and many others – so information will need to be stored, managed and maintained appropriately. The ‘thread’ implies that the information that is handed over to clients must be accurate from the start and must remain accurate throughout the building’s lifecycle.

Information from the golden thread will also need to be shared by the Accountable Person with other relevant people including residents and emergency responders. The Accountable Person is typically the person responsible for a completed building.

A key requirement of the Golden Thread is that it will need to hold the information that those responsible for the building require in order to:

  • show that the building was compliant with applicable building regulations during its construction and provide evidence of meeting the requirements throughout the design, construction and refurbishment of a building
  • identify, understand, manage and mitigate building safety risks in order to prevent or reduce the severity of the consequences of fire spread or structural collapse throughout the life cycle of a building

Working in a way set out by the Golden Thread, building safety should be taken to include the fire and structural safety of a building and the safety of all the people inside or in the vicinity of a building (including emergency responders).

The Building Regulations Advisory Committee have produced a set of principles which provide more detail on the requirements that Dutyholders/Accountable Persons will need to meet in order for their golden thread to meet the government’s expectations.

 

      1. Accurate and Trusted: the golden thread must be a verified source of information to help the dutyholder/Accountable Person maintain building safety. The information within it will also be used by the Regulator when assessing compliance with building safety regulations: it therefore needs to be accurate and verified with a clear change control process.
      1. Residents feeling secure in their homes: residents are to be provided information from the golden thread to assure them that the building they live in is being managed safely and allow them to hold Accountable Persons to account.
      1. Culture change: the golden thread enables better and more collaborative working, requiring different working practices and supporting cultural change in construction.
      1. Single source of truth: the golden thread will bring all information (including change and decision processes) together in a single place. This reduces the duplication of information and drives improved accountability.
      1. Secure: the golden thread must be secure, with sufficient protocols in place to protect personal information and comply with current GDPR legislation where required.
      1. Accountable: the golden thread will record when changes are made to information, by who and when – improving accountability at every level and stage of the building’s lifecycle.
      1. Understandable/consistent: the information in the golden thread must be clear, understandable by all users, and focussed on their needs.
      1. Simple to access (accessible): the golden thread needs to be stored in a structured way and must be accessible so that people can easily find the right information at the right time.
      1. Longevity/durability and shareability of information: the information must be reviewed to ensure continued relevance, and must be accessible to contractors using different software, and to new building owners if the building is sold.
      1. Relevant/proportionate: the objective of the golden thread is building safety and therefore if information is no longer relevant to building safety then it does not need to be kept and it must be reviewed periodically.

 

The Golden Thread of Information is the key to promoting a culture of building safety. It will support change within the construction industry as it requires increased competence, different working practices, improved and updated processes and a core focus on information management. A properly maintained golden thread should provide residents with the assurance that their building is being managed safely.

See how our experienced Digital Construction consultants can help you comply with Building Safety Regulations: https://bim.majentasolutions.com/majenta-solutions-bim-consultants-home/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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